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OLD AND NEW RUSSIA.
A Brief History of its Political and Social Growth, in Connection With the Rise of the Romanoffs, [Written for the RIVER PRESs.] NUMBER I. THEn system presented by Russian national development, and which the death of the Czar has brought into prominence, is inter esting not only from its own peculiarites, but has an important bearing on the future, show ing, as it does, the natural growth of the nation and popular life out of the most incon grous elements, and subject to peculiar and distressing vicessitudes. It is popular to view the Russian au tocratic system as something hideous, and opposed to every essential of democratic liber ty, because of the general habit of associating all that is not representative as despotic ;- forgetting that this very despotism, as it is generally understood, may be representative, and also forgetting that a representative sys tem may be the essence of despotism; and forgetting the truism that strength is liberty, and weakness despotism, because strength implies popular support, without which there can be no strength, and popular support im plies popular satisfaction, which certainly does not imply despotism ; while weakness is despotism because it implies a condition of helplessness and anarchy. The forms of government are only a manifestation of un toward circumstances, and are always the best adapted to meet the difficulties evolved in their creation. The United States is a repub lic, so called, because it was the only expres sion possible, when an expression was neces sary for existence. Russia is an autocracy for the same reason, and while the methods are diametrically opposed, the ends compassed have in both cases demonstrated that each was best adapted to its surroundings and necessities; and both are tending to the same result of popular emancipation through radi cally different means. It is necessary, therefore, to examine both the elements and the manner of their forma tion and also the disturbing causes which have operated to repress or change the na tional impulse from its natural channel, before a fair understanding of the situation and the lesson it so forcibly. conveys can be had. Three different ethnological families have united to produce, not a Russian people, but the autocracy, and the autocracy is slowly creating a Russian people. The Slavonian, the Norman-Gothic, and the Tartar, each radically differing from the other in habits, tendencies and occupation. The first has al ways been known (what little is known of it at all) as a quiet agricultural people, who had so little effect on the tide of the world's affairs that they are hardly mentioned by the restless and enterprising Greeks, who describe them as a hardy but simple and quiet people. It is mere speculation to as sume their legal customs, for nothing is known of them prior to the 8th century that was not already described in the Odessy of Homer. It was through the second men tioned element, the Norman, that the vast hive of people of Central and Southern Rus sia, or Great and Little Russia, began to as sume a tangible existence. Always tied to the land and a part of it, (as indeed most of the people of Europe were previous to the rise of the Roman power,) they had never entered into competition with the world, but existed in a state of extreme simplicity, politi cally crystalized,and without either enterprise or any incentive for it,being isolated from the world by immeasurable distances and the un approachable nature of a land-locked coun try. There was no individuality, for there was no commerce. There was no prosperity (as we measure prosperity) because it is com merce that creates wealth and stimulates en terprise. Their political system was a communal organization, not in a national form, but a vast number of little villages each existing in dependent of the other, and controlling just enough of the adjacent lands for their sup port, owned, not by the individual who culti vated it, but by the village as a whole, both women and men taking part in the elections, which were only held for the purpose of nominating the village elder and subdividing the lands, which would, from the growth of some families and the decadence of others, get out of equilibrium. If there was a politi cal organization aside from this, nothing is known of its nature or extent, but it is safe to assume that it was not much, or it must have made a greater impression upon the people themselves and upon the world. In fact, so long as a mere living was the only end of existence, and so long as whatever surplus there was over the needs of the com munity must rot, because it could not be re moved where it was needed, and so long as there was no pressure upon them for federa tion from outside causes, as the necessity of union to resist invasion, there would be no need of union, and hence it may be taken for granted that the condition they had been in before the Normans infused new life and spirit, had been its condition for centuries previously. These village communes (or Mir) were simply organized, and purely democratic, al though the power they conferred iupon the chief or elder was supreme. He had the power of life and death, and his will was as absolute as the Czar's, who is only a much magnified representative of the elder, except ing that the power vested in him is hereditary aud not elective, as was the case with the elder. In some cases along the main rivers a few of these villages had confederated, and were held together by a very weak bond of family influence with a headship of heredi tary chieftains, but the bond was not strong enough with the largest of them to resist the slight pressure of the Norman influence which eventually succeeded in directing them, and gave to them the impetus which created a more enterprising and commercial spirit, and necessitated a better social organization by creating a sense of individualism, very weak, indeed, but still sufficiently marked to pro duce several important corporations, among which the principal were Novgorod and Kief. The .Mir or village was nothing more than a long row of huts lining both sides of a single street, with the land belonging to the families stretching away back in long narrow strips, to the extent of the domain controlled by the village, and was subdivided into the house and garden spot, the arable land for more extensive operations, and the pasture land. This property was held in common, and was apportioned out among the families as often as they would see fit, which varied in periods of from three to ten years. They were divided according to the male work ing strength, the more males in a family, the greater the portion of land allowed; and the division was made necessary by death in some cases, and increase in others, until some families had too much and others too little, when they were subdivided again. Agricul ture only in its rudest form prevailed, as the object could be, without commerce, only to make a bare subsistance. There does not ap pear, at this period, (prior to the beginning of the 6th century) to have been but little more organization of this people except that given by the slender tie of their religious beliefs, which had a tinge of the German ~mythology -a worship .f the powers of nature un der the guise of their own heroic ancestry, and was a different form of the Odin wor ship of the Scandinavians-polytheistic in na ture, with an organization and priesthood strikingly similar to the Druidical forms of the Celts. Tnt about this neriod the treat disturbance But about this period the great disturbance of populations, from the Himyalahs in the east to the Atlantic ocean in the west, began almost simultaneously, and the pressure grad ually increased from both directions, and was soon to introduce an element of disturbance which has gradually set this quiet of centuries into a hive of aggressive swarming, and which set to work in the mass the leaven of unrest and individualism which has made the final result of a homogenous national spirit only a matter of time. This sentiment had taken considerable form between the 6th and the 9th centuries from the influx of a new population. This population was the Norman, which was of Scandinavian and Daniah origin, and in fact extended a considerable distance into what is as at present included in Russian territory. Like all seaboard populations this was enterprising, energetic, and warlike; liv ing not so much by agriculture as by trade and piracy, centuries of which had impress ed by this time a spirit of restless activity which made them the directors of Europe, from England to Constantinople, and from Archangel to the two Sicilies. Their rude vessels scoured every sea, and the race was destined, through no intention of its own, to revolutionize the entire communal system of Europe, and start the plant of individualism into a vigorous growth; first by placing themselves as freebooters and pirates, and then as tradesmen, and afterwards by the creation of military aristocracies, which were the nucleus of the European powers of to day. Their social organization was some what like that of the Scots, in clans with a hereditary chief over a band who held their property in fief to him. on a feudal or com munal tenure, and organization had proceed ed so far as to unite many of these clans and chieftains under a single head, so that it really presented the most concentrated form of government in Europe. But while exacting the feudal tenure from the peoples whom they subordinated and reduced this tenure to an unconditional surrender of political rights from those they had conquered, among them selves they maintained a fiercely democratic instinct, and were united by a bond only made by a necessity for self protection from each other, as they had for some centuries been preying on themselves until a foreign field invited them to richer conquests and a more inviting climate. In close proximity to the native Sclav pro ples in the territory contiguous to Novgorod and Kief, were the Finns, a small but war like race withF ethnological affinity with the Turcomans, and small bands of these had Kept up a predatory warfare with. their neigh bors, and which had produced in this partic ular district a small military caste that in process of time had usurped all the functions of the simple government of both peoples, under petty local chieftains who used their power with severity upon their own followers when they were not at war with each other, and the enterprising Normans had for a cen tury or two. been building up a considerable trade with the outside world, taking the goods of which they despoiled the fertile Latin pre vinces and trading them for the supplies of leather and felt, which. manufacture had made considerable progress. Such a field for enterprise was not to be neglected by this race of freebooters, and with the aid of their commercial agents in the twol towns kept the native factions` in a state of continual tur-1 moil, out of which neither derived anything but weakness, which gave to the few Nor mans the balance of political influence over both, and both came .to recognize in thtse men the natural leadership, which finally re sulted in their calling upon their friends in Denmark and Sweden for military aid, and ambassadors were sent inviting them to take possession of the field. Rurick, with three others, accordingly came, and took Novgorod and soon afterwards Kief, and his son Oleg made the latter point the capital of the little empire which was to expand until it covered one six of the surface of the hab itable globe. Between 912 and 1010 the little empire was subject to many vicissitudes, as the Norman rulers had subdivided it on the death of Ru rick, and a series of broils for the suprema cy ensued, which resulted in nothing until Valdimir succeeded in subduing them all, and making himself supreme. This was the pi votal event in the history of the Russian em pire, for there at last existed one power last which overshadowed every other in the whole domain of the country occupied by the Sclavic people. Nearly two centuaies had elapsed since the handful of Normons had become the ruling power, and they were almost amalgamated into the Salavs, but not without first creating a ruling caste which re tained all the civilizing influences of the N or man, and a great deal more which they had borrowed from the B} zantine Greeks in the several incursions made on Constantinople, and which they had impressed upon the rul ing factors. The conquering race had not troubled itself with the peculiar communal organization of the Sclavs, and the Sclavs themselves, being left secure in their anicent privileges, cared little who ruled the provin ces, as their idea of government did not ex tend beyond the commune itself, and their ancient habit of discipline under the despotic rule of their village elders made them easy to rule and perfectly unimpressible. Sunny Valdimir extended his empire from the Vistula to the Don, and from lake ilmen on the north to the falls of the Dneiper on the south. He did one thing besides conquer: he became a convert to the Christain faith, and his example had been followed by the whole nation,--a process which had been maturing gradually for a century, and this was accom panied by the appointment of a Metropolitan by the emperor at Constantinople. Thus was the great link formed which was to hold Russia in the list of Western civiliiza tions and Western powers, in spite of the ter rible vicisitudes and almost total annihilation which were soon to follow from the over flowing torrent of the Tartar host, which for two centuries swept with irresistible force over the country and then gradually receded like a tidal vave, leaving the former free communes communes still, tilling the soil on the same commusal principle, and electing its village elders in the same old way, but ap propriating lands,, communes, and elders, and holding the wRhle as chattel property and leaving them all in the condition of slav ery known to us as serfdom. No other sys tem but one founded purely upon the land and agriculture coild have withstood the shock. A commercial people would have been robbed and ruited at the first overthrow and scattered beyonl redemption. But land could not be taken,and the Russian Sclavs clMng to the land, as freemen, as slaves, and with no right but the right to pay taxes, and still clung until in thl fullness of time they have again their freidom and their lands, on the same old tenuir they held it twenty centuries ago. When land was sold by the Tartaric invader the peodle were sold with it, and would not be separated from it, and like a rock, when the great iave receeded it was standing there where it had stood for so many centuries; left scared and barren, but still standing, and just Enough of the virgin soil left in which the dld; seed would ger minate anew and bear _ fruit which is not yet ripened, but which bidsfair to be a goodly harvest.. (To be contir ed.) THE XTRA DITION SALOON, Wines, Liqoors ul Cigars. We keep in stock and have nomin handilarge quan tity of the celeated Hermitage Scr Mash. And have also bust received a h vy shipment of the famous NABOB CI RS. In connection with the other fea tfes of this Popular S esort, We have ins uted a PRIVATE CLU. ROOM, And will take extra pains to serve public who may call on us. J. H. EVANS & C , Prop'rs. + NOTICE. SWe will herd all Horses entrust to our care for one dollar and fily cents per he r month. We will have a House and Corral at the oot of the trail above George Allis' Rauch,and we deliver horses at Hughes City at 50 cents per head JA .E. 31aAxv, Jo . LAixB. BEWARE. All persons are hereby warned ag stskiing any dead cattle branded NV without as dal permit from me. and all parties are notifle~4 not iay hides with said brand. NARCIUS VAU apt. Nelse). 18L 1881. OPENING OF NAVIGATION. WILL RUN FOUR OF THE Finest and Fastest Boats on the River DURING THE SEASON, CARRYINC UNITED STATES MAIL, And American, North Pacific and Benton Line Express T.TO F0RT BEINT ON, Leaving Bismarck Every Saturday Evening During Navigation. 0 ----- -O --- Leaves St. Louis, Saturday, March 26th. --- -- O Steamer yHerlena, 1 0 L-e-av l Leaves Yankton, Saturday, April 9th. --0- Leaves Sioux City, Saturday, April 16th. ----o For Rates of Freight or Passage, apply to T. C. POWER & BRO., Fort Benton, M. T. T. C. POWER & CO,, Helena, M. T. M. HANNAFORD, N. P. R. R., St. Paul, Minn. JOHN H. CHARLES, Sioux City, Iowa. I. P. BAKER, No. 308 North Commercial Street, St. Louis Order all Express from the East via A[9IERICAN AND NORTHERN PACIFIC. Mlark all goods Benteon *P' Line' Care N. P. RI. R. JNO. T. IURIPIY. SAMIUEL NEEL. W W.W. IGGIS. WM. H. TODD NI URPHY, NEEL & CO. Wholesale and Retail Dealers in Groceries, Wines and Liquors, CIGARS AND TOBACCO, Cooking and Heating Stoves, Sheep Tobacco, Wool Sacks and Wool Twine, Tents and Wagon Covers, Stockmen's, hMiners', Freighters' and Farmers' Supplies. Hardware, Clothing, DRY GOODS, Boots, Shoes, Hats, Caps, Queens ware and Furniture. We keep large and complete lines of all the above mentioned goods, and all kinds of House Furnishing Goods, and Farmers, Freighters, Miners and Families will do well to call and examine our goods and get our latest prices before laying in their supplies. Do a general Storage and Commisssion business. Consignments solicited, and goods forwarded promptly. SCHUTTLER WAGONS, Cortland Platform Spring Wagons and Buggies, PORTER IRON ROOFINC. STORAGE AND COMMISSION, Only Fire-Proof Storage Warehouse in Fort Beintn. Robes, Skins and Furs Bought and Sold. MURPHY, lEEL & CO. Cor Front and Beuton Streets1 FORT BENTON, M. T.